During my recovery, and after, I heard the word aphasia used by doctors and my family, a lot. I never knew what they meant by this, just that it was something caused by the accident.

I now know that this is damage to the brain causing language to be impaired. This is why I was slower taking in information, or saying what I was thinking. This is why the words wouldn’t come out, in English or in Spanish. Doctors said I would only remember Spanish, since I learned it first, but I have grown up surrounded by both languages. I am bilingual, and nothing will take that away from me, not even aphasia.

To be able to speak again, the first thing I needed to do was to be able to swallow again. This doesn’t mean drink water; I could drink water, but bite and swallow food. That took time, so I became addicted to Ensure Nutrition Shakes; but once I was able to eat real food again, I was ready to start talking.

I started to see a Speech Therapist, who helped me start speaking louder so people could hear me. Some of the exercises required me to say aaaa at the top of my lungs for as long as I could, with all five vowels. This therapy session would sometimes turn into musical therapies.

I don’t think I have any signs of aphasia anymore, except that annoying thing when you know the word to use but you just don’t remember the word; but that happens to everyone.

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